dora de­lib­er­a­tions

As Dora ju­rors vote this week on the best in T.O. the­atre, dance and opera, here are some wor­thy artists who will likely show up their lists By GLENN SUMI

NOW Magazine - - STAGE -

The first bal­lots for Dora Ma­vor Moore Awards nom­i­na­tions are due this week, so I thought I’d try to pre­dict the nom­i­nees. Play along at home! Or if you hap­pen to be read­ing this dur­ing in­ter­mis­sion at a show, pen­cil in things you think I’ve for­got­ten in the mar­gins of your the­atre pro­gram!

In the in­ter­est of brevity, I’m only com­ment­ing on the­atre, not dance, opera or the­atre for young au­di­ences. And I’ve de­cided against split­ting th­ese ob­ser­va­tions into “Gen­eral” and “In­de­pen­dent” the­atre cat­e­gories.

The Toronto Al­liance for the Per­form­ing Arts will an­nounce the ac­tual nom­i­nees on May 31. For more info go to


per­for­mance (fe­male) in a play, Bunny Beaty won the Dora last year for The Last Wife, but in Han­nah Moscov­itch’s com­ing-of-ager, she got to show off some­thing new: si­mul­ta­ne­ously act­ing as nar­ra­tor and sex-ob­sessed cen­tral char­ac­ter, she was comic, sen­sual and awk­ward, all done with com­plete con­fi­dence. OTHER LIKELY NOM­I­NEES: Seana McKenna (Lear); Laurie Pa­ton (The Hu­mans) LET’S HOPE: Vivien Endi­cott-Dou­glas isn’t shut out of the race for ei­ther Lo

(Or Dear Mr Wells) or Cat­e­gory E. Act­ing since her teen years, she’s emerged as one of the strongest per­form­ers of her gen­er­a­tion. And I fear there won’t be room for Laakku­luk Wil­liamson Bathory’s fe­ro­cious per­for­mance in Ki­inalik: Th­ese Sharp Tools, though it’s prob­a­bly un­like any­thing a Dora ju­ror has ever sat through be­fore.


per­for­mance (male) in a play, Jerusalem I wasn’t as blown away by Coates’s re­turn to the stage as many, but in the months since see­ing Out­side the March’s sold-out pro­duc­tion, his griz­zled, glam­orous and dan­ger­ous turn as a trou­bled Pied Piper rail­ing against the evils of the modern world has stayed with me. He’s guar­an­teed a spot on this list, and prob­a­bly the win. OTHER LIKELY NOM­I­NEES: Ric Reid (The Hu­mans); Craig Lau­zon (The Drawer Boy) HOPE THERE’S ROOM FOR: Bob Na­smith’s

dev­as­tat­ing per­for­mance in Krapp’s Last Tape; Rick Roberts’s ter­ri­fy­ing and pitiable Pozzo in Wait­ing For Godot; Adam Lazarus’s eerily rel­e­vant toxic male fig­ure in Daugh­ter; and Jeff Ho’s multi-gen­er­a­tional drama­tis per­sonae from his au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal Trace.



(male) in a mu­si­cal, Fun Home Many who saw the Broad­way pro­duc­tion and this co-pro by Mirvish and Mu­si­cal Stage Com­pany thought Buliung did a more con­vinc­ing job as the clos­eted fa­ther than the Tony Award­win­ning Michael Cerveris. No won­der. Lusty one mo­ment, full of fury the next, then ten­der and re­morse­ful, Buliung cap­tures all the con­flicts and con­tra­dic­tions of this heart­break­ing char­ac­ter. OTHER LIKELY NOM­I­NEES: Dan Chameroy (Life After); Daren A. Herbert (One­gin) LET’S HOPE: one of the two Man­darinsing­ing per­form­ers from Njo Kong Kie and Wong Teng Chi’s Mr. Shi And His Lover, Jor­dan Cheng and Derek Kwan, get re­mem­bered for their haunt­ing turns singing in a va­ri­ety of gen­res. And in a just world, Joel Cum­ber’s odd­ball Amish char­ac­ter from Rum­springa Break! would be rec­og­nized.


per­for­mance (fe­male) in a mu­si­cal, One­gin Gillis has al­ways been one of those artists whose feel­ings reg­is­ter even to the back of the the­atre – will any­one who saw it for­get her poignant scene in Spoon River? She was the emo­tional cen­tre in Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille’s in­die rock take on the Tchaikovsky clas­sic, and a Dora nom­i­na­tion seems as­sured. OTHER LIKELY NOM­I­NEES: Chilina Kennedy (Beau­ti­ful: The Ca­role King Mu­si­cal); Ellen Denny (Life After); and all three Alisons in Fun Home (Laura Condlln, Sara Farb, Han­nah Levin­son), al­though they could end up scor­ing an en­sem­ble nom­i­na­tion in­stead.


per­for­mance by an en­sem­ble Per­for­mances like th­ese are why there’s an en­sem­ble cat­e­gory in the first place. How else could vot­ers sin­gle out one per­son from among great ac­tors like Ako­sua Amo-Adem, Or­dena Stephens Thomp­son, Karen Glave, Ta­mara Brown, d’bi young an­itafrika, Evan­gelia Kam­bites and Sate? OTHER LIKELY NOM­I­NEES: One­gin; Jerusalem; The Hu­mans; Punk Rock; Bunny; Lear; Rum­springa Break!


set de­sign, Jerusalem You don’t of­ten get the chance to turn a the­atre into an English for­est, but that’s what Blais ac­com­plished in his im­mer­sive set for Jez But­ter­worth’s play. Sel­dom has walk­ing into a play been so thrilling. OTHER LIKELY DE­SIGN NOM­I­NEES: Ken MacKen­zie (sets and cos­tumes for An­i­mal Farm); Ja­son Hand (light­ing de­sign for Ham­let); T. Erin Gru­ber (set de­sign for Bears)

The 39th An­nual Dora Ma­vor Moore Awards, hosted by Astrid Van Wieren, take place June 25 at the Win­ter Garden The­atre. Tick­ets go on sale May 31. | @glennsumi

OPIN­ION Here’s hop­ing For Col­ored Girls gets an en­sem­ble act­ing nod.

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